The Roanoke Canal Half Marathon and 5k is a trail race that follows the Roanoke Canal, which was built in 1823. We are also adding a one mile fun run/walk this year to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Roanoke Rapids High School. The one mile course will be set up as a storywalk, showcasing the school's remarkable history. Money raised at the event will aid future programs and events at the Roanoke Canal Museum and Trail and the Roanoke Rapids Parks and Recreation Department.
The Half Marathon and 5k will both take place on the Roanoke Canal Trail. The natural surface trail is generally flat with a few hills. As runners travel back in time along the historic trail, they will pass over several culverts that were installed during construction of the canal in the 1820's. Runners in both races will also pass by the large bulkhead that diverted water into the canal during the years it was used to generate electricity for the local mills. Those who choose to run the half marathon will actually run through the old aqueduct, which is widely regarded as an engineering feat well before its time. The 1 Mile Fun Run will loop through Roanoke Rapids Day Use Park.